At the end of the day, Oakland based Madeline Kenney just wants to be surprised. An artist with a rare openness to exploration and an appetite for the novel, her pursuit of music wasn’t always a foregone conclusion, though she’s played piano her whole life. Hers is a path peppered with diversions, in the sense that she lets herself be amused. She’s studied neuroscience, been a dancer, a baker, a visual artist, and yes, a musician, but even that role comes with nearly too many hyphenates to count. But rather than existing as offshoot paths, her many selves are always entangled, encouraging one another. All of it shows up in the songs.
To chart the trajectory of her career from the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Night Night at The First Landing in 2017 to her now fourth studio release, A New Reality Mind, is to witness a simultaneous evolution and unfurling — her creative precision curing as her musical
palette becomes evermore unrestricted and prismatic, stretching to contain the curiosity of her roving mind.
This voraciousness shows up everywhere in her work, from the layered sonic tensions in her music, to the seemingly endless roster of musicians she’s collaborated with. Since releasing Night Night (which was co-produced with Chaz Bear of Toro y Moi), she’s shared music near annually, including albums
Perfect Shapes (2018) and Sucker’s Lunch (2020), which were both
co-produced with Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak / Flock of Dimes), with whom Kenney also released split EP The Sisters / Helpless (2019). Sucker’s Lunch also featured a cameo from Kurt Wagner, of the perennial cult – favorite Lambchop. Meanwhile, Kenney also finds time to collaborate beyond her own project — she’s lent vocals to multiple Toro y Moi projects, co-produced records with artists such as A.O. Gerber, and directed music videos for Hand Habits, Boy Scouts, and Olivia Kaplan.
Her newest release sees Kenney at the height of her personal creative power. Produced and recorded alone in her basement, the songs on A New Reality Mind
pulse with the vibrance of a fiercely inquisitive mind. They’re the result of Kenney’s penchant for wonder and an invitation tolook at the world through her continually searching lens.
3159 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657